Last year, Toyota truck lovers were blessed with announcements about the all-new Tacoma, Land Cruiser, and Lexus GX550 models being released in 2024. Oddly, we have yet to hear much about the beloved 4Runner.
I believe Toyota will break their silence on the 6th Gen 4Runner this year, with hopes that it’ll be revealed as a 2025 model.
As of now, there aren’t many cold hard facts about the upcoming 4Runner coming directly from Toyota – most of what’s out there is speculation or info from “trusted sources”. Here’s my take on what we can expect from the 6th Gen:
Will it be a 2025 model?
I think it’s very possible that the 6th Gen Toyota 4Runner will be unveiled as a 2025 model. That means we should be hearing more about it this year, sharing a similar timeline as the Tacoma, Land Cruiser, and GX550 releases last year.
I’ve seen numerous people online claiming that a 2025 model year is likely because Toyota always releases the new 4Runner a year after the new Tacoma. I don’t know where they got that idea from, but it’s wrong.
A quick look at this table of model years shows that this was only the case in the 90’s and the theory doesn’t apply to ANY of the modern Toyota trucks:
|1st Gen Tacoma
|3rd Gen 4Runner
|Does this theory apply?
|Debuted in 1995
|Debuted in 1996
|2nd Gen Tacoma
|4th Gen 4Runner
|Debuted in 2005
|Debuted in 2003
|3rd Gen Tacoma
|5th Gen 4Runner
|Debuted in 2016
|Debuted in 2010
|4th Gen Tacoma
|6th Gen 4Runner
|Debuted in 2024
|Debuted in ????
What will the 6th Gen 4Runner look like?
The only thing we currently have to go by are the renderings made by 3rd party sources. Some of them however, have been confirmed to look pretty close to the real thing by “trusted sources” at Toyota (particularly, these from 4Runner6g.com).
I chose to take the time to dream up my own ideas of what it might look like with my awful Photoshop skills. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the front end will be very similar, if not identical to the 4th Gen Tacoma.
Historically, the 4Runner has always shared a very similar front end design to the Tacoma (or “Pickup” for early generations). I don’t expect Toyota to change this – as a matter of fact, seeing what they did with the current Tundra and Sequoia styling would hint toward it being a nearly exact match.
I’d also say it’s possible that the side profile will be very similar to the shape of the 2024 Land Cruiser and GX550, since they’re all built on the same platform. Rumor has it that the iconic shape of the C-pillar will continue, but be angled a bit more vertically to allow easier access to the back seats.
It’s interesting to see that the shape of the wheel wells is nearly the same between the Tacoma and Land Cruiser. Will the 4Runner share these as well?
The rear end design is possibly the most questionable. I chose to graft the slim-looking Sequoia tail lights onto my rendering to see what it would look like. The result is not very “4Runner” looking and I honestly doubt the real one will share this design. It was worth a shot though.
Where the 6th Gen 4Runner will be built
There are rumors circling that the upcoming Toyota 4Runner will be built in Mexico alongside the new Tacoma. I find this rather hard to believe for a few reasons:
Toyota has taken great pride in building the 4Runner in Japan. The Japanese-built Toyotas have always been known to have a higher build quality as well.
I don’t believe that the Tacoma being built in Mexico is enough to assume the 4Runner will be too. It has been built in North America for many years, while the 4Runner stayed in Japan.
The Land Cruiser is another model that Toyota is proud to have always manufactured in Japan. It’s confirmed to continue being built there as a 2024 model and I would hope that the 4Runner would follow suit!
The 6th Gen 4Runner Drivetrain
It’s a very popular opinion that the new 4Runner will share the same engines as the new 4th Gen Tacoma. According to TFL, their “trusted source” has confirmed this. So we can come to terms that not only will we never see a V8-powered 4Runner again, but the future 4Runner will be a turbocharged 4-cylinder.
It’s safe to assume the 2.4 i-FORCE MAX Turbo hybrid from the Tacoma will also be available in the 4Runner which boasts some pretty serious performance numbers:
That would easily make it by far the fastest Toyota 4Runner ever built, although it’s still not enough to make me want to give up my 4.7 V8 model!
Like it or not, the new era of small displacement, turbocharged hybrid Toyota trucks is here, and likely here to stay. Time will tell what the longevity is like with these higher-strung engines but at least their performance on paper is impressive.
Will there be Trailhunter and TRD Pro models?
Based on these models of the new Tacoma, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that Toyota will be spreading these versions out to the 4Runner as well. The TRD Pro 4Runner has become a cult classic with the 5th Gen and I highly doubt Toyota would want to give up on those sales.
While the TRD Pro model is geared toward the high speed off-road crowd, the Trailhunter is intended to be a package that offers aftermarket upgrades from companies like Old Man Emu and ARB but with a Toyota warranty and financing.
Think of it as an off-the-shelf overland build straight from the dealership showroom. A set of custom wheels, bigger tires, a snorkel, and a roof rack are all very likely to be seen on a 4Runner Trailhunter model.
How will the 6th Gen 4Runner fit in with the new Land Cruiser?
This is one of the biggest questions right now. I believe the 4Runner will come in a bit under the Land Cruiser MSRP as somewhat of an entry-level off-roader. While there is some concern that the 4Runner will cannibalize sales from the Land Cruiser, it’s important to note that Toyota has been here before.
The FJ Cruiser was sold during the same time as the 4th Gen and early 5th Gen 4Runners. It featured much more classic styling and was geared a bit more to the off-road crowd. Toyota did end up discontinuing the FJ Cruiser though so perhaps they were indeed competing with themselves.
Will it have a manual transmission?
Speculation online is that since the 4th Gen Tacoma is confirmed to have a manual transmission available, the 4Runner will too. I’m not so convinced, although I hope it does!
I don’t believe it’s as simple as some people believe. The Tacoma has always had a manual transmission option but the 4th and 5th gen 4Runners didn’t. So I don’t think we can automatically assume that it’ll have one just because the Tacoma does.
With that said, apparently some Toyota insiders have confirmed that the new 4Runner will indeed be offered in a manual. If that’s true, it’ll certainly add to the excitement!
Tim is the creator of Canadian Gearhead. His experience with auto detailing and working for Toyota shows through all of the articles posted here. He runs the Canadian Gearhead site and YouTube channel full-time now and currently owns a 2007 4runner, 2006 Tacoma, and 1991 MR2. Read more about Tim: